We met our English speaking Thai travel guide in front of Royal Hotel. Our meeting place for our day tour in Pattaya and Koh Larn (also called as Coral Beach) at 7am. We skipped our complimentary breakfast in the hotel for these early activity. She immediately recognized us as the only asian couple in the group tour. At 7:30am, the group headed to Pattaya which was two hours away from Bangkok by a van. The group were composed of 11 people; three Swiss, two American couples, a Brazilian couple, and us.
Before reaching Pattaya, the van stopped in a gasoline station to abide the calls of nature. A Swiss lady came out and was complaining for using the traditional old style toilet bowl. Ladies knew what she meant for.
The group continued to the beach side in Pattaya. Wow! A beach within the city. There were so many tall buildings and the parasailing activities made the sea so busy. The tourist guide asked us, if we like to do parasailing which costs 500 baht per person. For me, parasailing in Pattaya was half-price cheaper than Boracay in the Philippines. For nobody raised hands in the group for parasailing aside from us, we decided not to do it. We didn’t want them to wait for us.
A speed boat transported us from Pattaya beach to Coral beach for 20 minutes. The white beach was crowded with tourists. The group headed to a local restaurant which explained by our guide to be our meeting place. Our lunch will be served here. She also explained everything about activities like banana boat riding (4oo baht per 30 minutes), trekking, and many water activities. Benches are for rent which costs 100 baht each. Towels are also available for a 100 baht.
We looked for our benches to relax. We’re confident of leaving our belongings on the bench while we enjoyed the clear and warm water of Coral Island.
At 12nn, the group met at the local restaurant for lunch. A seafood soup, fish fillet, fried local fish, and a vegetable menu were served on the table. We’ll be eating together so a little bit uncomfortable for me. I didn’t know the reasons. Adding to that feelings was that we all just met in the morning. We were still not such close. It was not a buffet nor plated style. It was a local style lunch which taking and sharing of foods required senses. Whatever available or served on the table, we must share and enjoy it equally. No complaints, no adds on.
Some ants spotted on the dishes and the Brazilian lady removed and chased them away. An American woman told her softly, “It’s ok, they will not eat much”. We’re burst to laughter.
After lunch, we didn’t go back to the water because the temperature hit painfully. For westerners, they were still enjoying tanning their body from that hot sun exposure. Instead, we took a 40 baht dark shower room (no lights installed) and relaxed on the benches sipping fresh coconut juice.
We left the island at 2:30pm and arrived in Pattaya for a short sight seeing tour in Gem Factory. A 20-minute introductory was given while riding in a mining rail car. No camera and video was allowed! We’re just like inside a miner’s cave and was introduced how they mined stones and produced precious gems. After an informative cave rides, we headed to the real factory and sale room. All those gems from the cheapest to the expensive was there with a price of course!
There was a free coffee and tea in the factory’s bar. This was included in Coral Island Pattaya Tour Package booked at www.thailandhighlight.com by Lotus Country Travel for 1,900 baht per person.
We left Pattaya and arrived in Bangkok at 5:30pm. Instead of bringing us back to the hotel, we requested to drop us at famous Khaosan Road for shopping. The bazaar was lively at night and the numbers of traveling backpackers and tourists overcrowding the street. Also, a dragon parade was held for a Chinese New Year celebration.
We left Khaosan Road at 8:30pm and arrived in the hotel around 9pm. Unfortunately, the hotel restaurant was already closed, so we decided to go out for dinner. Few meters away from the hotel was the Tesco Lotus Mall. We went in and entered a Japanese/Thai Restaurant. The waiter asked our orders in Thai language. He just laughed when we told him that we were foreigner. The menu set here was cheap and for less than 200 baht, we have a complete set of delicious and yummy dinner.